These two insightful authors and countless others perceive the problems of men in our society as a lack of opportunity to grow up. There are no longer quests to fulfill. Men are no longer asked to grow in valor and strength of character, and they are no longer asked to mature emotionally.
I believe the current problems of men and women in relationships have something to do with a lack of hero’s journey in men’s lives. Not that women are completely innocent, as you will see as you read this article.
Women think nothing of pursuing men, putting up with bad relationship behavior. Women excuse men for being emotionally distant, physically and emotionally evasive, abusive, workaholic, unskilled relationally and generally hard to be in a love relationship with. Granted, not all men are hard to love, but many are, and many women and families, including men themselves, are suffering because of this and seeking a way to fix their relationship.
One of the things that would help men be more relational and create happier relationships would be to undertake a hero’s journey to intimacy.
Single Man’s Hero Journey
What can you do if you are a single man who’s been unlucky in love?
A single man’s hero journey to intimacy may begin when his relationship falls apart and he finally realizes that he had something to do with yet another relationship failure. He may also undertake his hero’s quest when he finally realizes that he will never meet the right woman unless he does something radically different.
He then will take an inner journey, assisted by great magicians and alchemists – therapists, coaches and support groups – to understand and transfigure his inner dynamics. He will go on a personal quest and find himself inside of himself. This will take time and effort and will cause him suffering. But he will persist, knowing that not changing himself will continue to make love elusive.
He will take his emotional lead and transform it into the gold of love inside of himself. He will grow himself up by learning what emotionally mature men do in relationships. He will learn how to love without losing himself, learn how to stand firm and still be loving, learn how to give generously and yet take care of his own needs, learn how to be passionate and creative while maintaining his maturity.
This is the kind of man most women are seeking nowadays for a relationship partner.
Note to Women: If you are seeking an emotionally mature man, you will want to find out if the man you are about to date has had some sort of hero’s journey that has thought him how to be a mature hero in a relationship.
Married/in a Relationship Man’s Hero Journey
What do you do if you are a man unhappy with your relationship or marriage? What do you do if you are a woman unhappy with your relationship or marriage?
If a man is already in a relationship and struggling, he needs to be encouraged by his partner to take a hero’s journey. Instead of begging and pleading, criticizing and cajoling and putting up with bad behavior, women may want to learn how to be the quest. Women must allow themselves to be won by a man, rather than chasing him or making it easy for him to “get you.”
I know this is an old-fashioned idea, and I am sure that many will be unhappy with the passive role that I am suggesting women take.
Think about it this way: If something is easily attained, especially by a child, it is usually considered of little value and discarded. Consider a child who gets many presents for which he or she did not have to work. If a toy gets broken or lost it’s not a big deal – the child will just pick up another toy.
The men who have not gone on a journey of emotional maturity are children when it comes to relationships. The women who are with them are the toys. If you were easily attained, if you are the one that wants him more, if you are the one who keeps asking for closeness, you will be easily ignored and perhaps discarded.
Men who have not undergone a hero’s journey prior to meeting you must win you in their own personal battle with their own dragons of fear and relationship immaturity.
The prescription for his journey is the same as a single man’s, except with one key difference: Your love and connection with you is the prize at the end of his journey. You are his quest.
The man’s journey must be treacherous and difficult, but not in the way that modern women make men’s journey to intimacy difficult.
Do not criticize him when he doesn’t act the way you want him to. Do not chase him to get him to talk to you. Do not cajole and overwhelm him in order to get him to be close to you. Instead, be the queen in the castle, unattainable until the dragon is slain. Be the queen in a high tower, untouchable and unavailable until he treats you as a hero must treat his queen. Do not come down out of your castle until he has won your heart. Allow him his full journey and allow him to win you, so that he can mature into the relationship hero you and he want him to be.
For specific ideas on how to be the queen who encourage her hero’s journey into himself, read The Rules. This little highly ridiculed, quirky book has an amazing amount wisdom hidden behind its simple cover.
So what does a hero’s quest have to do with men and intimacy? Everything! A man will not be able to have a healthy, mature, loving relationship until he undertakes a hero’s quest into himself and learns how to love. Single men may take up this quest when they fail yet again at love. Men in relationships will take up this quest when the woman in their life becomes the queen in a high tower to be won by going on a hero’s journey.
Are you are a man who’s ready to take your hero’s journey or a woman who’s ready to learn to be the queen who inspires a hero? I would be happy to lead you on your quest. I have coached many men on their hero’s journeys and have taught many women to be the queens who have inspired love. Perhaps you are next. To find out, contact me with your quest.